How to Write a 500 Word Essay: Structure, Format, and Tips
A 500 word essay is actually not a type of essay itself, but a specific format that you can use while writing argumentative, analytical, critical, narrative, and other essay types. Why 500 words? As a rule, this word limit allows the development of a particular topic, to prove your point of view, or analyze a certain subject without unnecessary details. An experienced professor can easily evaluate the level of a student’s knowledge and writing skills while reading the essay of such a format.
A 500 word essay can be the easiest and, at the same time, the most difficult paper to write. Everything depends on the topic and your abilities. You have to express your thoughts properly and use logical reasoning to complete a high-quality 500 word essay.
If you have enough time and inspiration, you can provide an excellent paper by yourself without any help from writing services. In that case, we highly recommend you to read our informative guide on how to write a 500 word essay. Let’s start with the 500 word essay length and structure.
500 Word Essay Length
Please, stop googling “how long is a 500 word essay”! It’s 500 WORDS! We hope so much that you meant “how many pages is a 500 word essay.” This question seems to be more meaningful, and we can answer it. A 500 word essay takes approximately 1 single-spaced page, or 2 double-spaced pages. Now, we can stop talking about 500 word essay length and move on to something less obvious.
500 Word Essay Structure
As any other academic paper, a 500 word essay consists of three parts: introduction, main body, and conclusion.
An introduction is aimed at two main goals. The first is to grab the attention of your readers. This function belongs to a hook – a catchy sentence that you should place at the beginning of your writing in order to interest your audience. The second goal of the introduction is to briefly present your subject. For this purpose, you should write a concise and understandable thesis statement.
The main body is the most significant part of your 500 words essay. Normally, the main body consists of three separate paragraphs. In each paragraph, you develop one point. Firstly, you make a statement and then provide your readers with a piece of evidence: a real-life example, a citation, an immaculate argument, etc. You can use different approaches to prove the same statement in order to make your writing more persuasive.
There are three strategies when it comes to the order of your points:
1. Direct order
You start with your strongest point and move on to the weakest. This strategy is good when you want to catch your readers’ attention at once. Remember that they may feel a bit disappointed at the end.
2. Reverse order
Using this method, you start from the less convincing point and end with the most persuasive one. If you choose this way of writing a 500 word essay, we recommend you to produce a well-considered introduction in order to distract your readers from the weaker first point.
3. Inside out
This strategy is pretty interesting and rather efficient. You hide your strongest point in the second paragraph between weaker points. It’s like a hamburger made of arguments where the most convincing is a juicy piece of meat and the weaker ones are crusty buns.
Generally, a conclusion for a 500 words essay is about 50-100 words. We know around a dozen good strategies to conclude a paper. Still, we will focus on five:
- Restate each section.
This is a very simple method to finish your 500 word essay. In this manner, your readers will get the full picture of your writing in two or three sentences.
- Ask a provocative question.
An intriguing question will motivate your readers to think outside the box. Of course, your question should be related somehow to your topic. A random question would be an interesting but inappropriate conclusion for a college paper.
- Paraphrase the thesis statement.
Leave your readers with a feeling of completeness. Turn your 500 word essay into a harmonious cycle by paraphrasing the thesis statement. Don’t just repeat it word for word!
- Give a hint.
Although your essay should look like a detective story, there is nothing bad about giving a small hint about a possible development of your topic. In addition, your conclusion may inspire someone for their own writings.
- Provide a quote.
This is a banal but reputable way to complete your 500 word essay. Subconsciously, we trust famous people and their opinions, so the phrase that belongs to Abraham Lincoln or Martin Luther King Jr. will automatically make your piece of writing more credible.
Now that you know enough about 500 word essay length and structure, let’s figure out what you should start your 500 word essay sample from.
How to Start a 500 Word Essay
First of all, you should choose a topic for your 500 word essay if your instructor hasn’t specified any particular theme. Your topic should be specific, interesting, and catchy. We can suggest you to check out this post: Original Essay Topics for Those Having No Idea What to Write About. There, you will find original themes for essays of different types: persuasive, compare and contrast, argumentative, expository, descriptive, etc. As you know, any of these types may have a 500 word essay format. The Worst Essay Topics for College is another really useful post, though it won’t give you any great ideas. Contrary to the article mentioned earlier, this one will provide you with a list of topics you should stay away from.
Secondly, look for information on your topic. Use only reliable sources: scientific journals, books of well-known specialists, articles of reputable newspapers, web encyclopedias, etc. Forget about Wiki-sites, personal blogs, and glossy magazines! Write down all your sources for your works cited page. If you forget to use a proper citation, you can be accused of plagiarism!
Next stop is an outline. Planning is everything whether you go shopping, leave on a vacation, or write a 500 word essay. A good outline will help you to structure multiple thoughts and ideas and pick the right strategy for writing. Use tables, lists, or diagrams to visualize your essay.
Now, everything is ready to write the first sentence. Brace yourself and do your best!
How to Write a 500 Word Essay: 5 Helpful Tips
1. Use academic English words.
If you want to sound smart, forget about the words “something,” “anyway,” and “probably.” Your English dictionary should become your best friend for the period of studying in college. Don’t overload your 500 word essay with complex words, however, but don’t neglect them at the same time.
2. Learn different argumentative strategies.
When you want to convince an intelligent person, smart words are not enough. Learn more about logical reasoning and avoid logical fallacies. Your readers should follow your thoughts without effort.
3. Take a nap before proofreading.
This is not a joke. When you have been writing your 500 words essay for 4 hours, you won’t be able to edit it properly. So, you’d probably take a nap and clear your mind. The best option is to finish your assignment and proofread it the next day.
4. Avoid phrases like “there is” or “there are.”
Your essay should be concise, and such phrases add unnecessary words. Without “there is/there are,” your sentences become stronger and straight to the point.
5. Choose strong verbs.
Use “assist” instead of “give assistance,” “participate” instead of “take part,” and other strong verbs. The nouns in these examples sound weaker than their verbal forms, so try to avoid phrasing sentences this way when your write academically.
A 500 word essay is a great way of structuring your thoughts and ideas. As soon as you understand the peculiarities of this format, any writing assignment will be easier for you.
We are confident that you now know enough about how to write a 500 word essay. If this guide was too difficult for you, we may recommend reading this article for beginners.
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- Free 500 word essay examples that you may find on the internet are of low quality, and nobody can guarantee their uniqueness.
We hope that writing 500 word essays has become less challenging for you after reading our guide. However, you are always welcome to use our custom writing service.
Good luck, and may the Force be with you!